- Accidental Innuendo: On the part of the series' creator; The hero's codename is Shaft? Come on.
- Cliché Storm: The series featured a team whose only non-powered member was also its leader, several Wolverine rip-offs including a Proud Warrior Race Guy, characters layered in pouches and shoulderpads, names like "Darcangel" and "Bedrock, oops, Badrock"," gun-toting anti-heroes with religious-sounding names (the hot new character when the book debuted was Marvel's gun-toting antihero Bishop — Youngblood gives us Chapel, Cross, and Prophet), and buxom women in skimpy outfits. And they had "Home" and "Away" teams.
- Complete Monster:
- Darkthorn(n) is the alien lord of planet D'khay, as well as of Earth in the future of 2043. Reducing both planets to dead wastelands, Darkthorn decided to conquer the Earth in the past, so that he could use its resources to return D'khay to its former glory and continue conquering the universe. To strengthen his rule on both planets, Darkthorn created an army of androids called the Disciples and used them to create religion in their name, killing millions and brainwashing many people through propaganda and false teaching to believe the Disciples to be Holy Creatures, with Darkthorn himself as God. Finding out about the ancient weapon called the Tear of God, Darkthorn tried to capture it by invading a haven of fallen angels, slaughtering countless numbers of them before he was forced to flee. Later Darkthorn used his cults on Earth, as well as his own minions, to power up his portal device the Crush Tunnel through the death and suffering of thousands. To speed up the process, Darkthorn sacrificed countless numbers of his own minions to the machine.
- Lord Chapel is an extremely powerful demonic entity, created from fragments of Bruce "Chapel" Stinson's soul. After hearing a prophecy of him conquering the universe and causing chaos and destruction until the chosen hero the Newborn defeated him, Lord Chapel decided to prevent this by sending his minion Crypt to Earth to kill all heroes who might pose a danger to him, as well as the mother of Newborn, who was pregnant with him at the time. Meanwhile, he started a war in Hell to overthrow Lucifer himself, causing the deaths of millions of demons and forcing the terrified Lucifer to flee to Earth. After Crypt seemingly accomplished his goal, Lord Chapel arrived on Earth, intending to merge it with Hell, only to be defeated by Lucifer and the resurrected Newborn, who sacrificed himself to banish Lord Chapel. Although trapped, Lord Chapel started to communicate with Bruce Stinson through visions and nightmares, manipulating him to release Lord Chapel from Limbo, upon which he started causing catastrophic events all throughout the Earth, like derailing a train and setting a whole city on fire, killing hundreds. Even though he was defeated once again, Lord Chapel managed to take control of Bruce Stinson's son, so that he could enter Earth through Bruce Stinson's dead body. Upon arriving, Lord Chapel unleashes horrors of Hell upon the Earth and started Armageddon.
- Chapel (1995 miniseries): Colonel Black is a former ally of United States, who helped them with their operations in Nicaragua in exchange for weapons and equipment. Eventually, he developed an interest in Voodoo magic and started acting on his own accord. Deciding to make a nearby village the start of his own experiments with Voodoo magic, Black organized the brutal murder and mass torture of hundreds of people, with even children not being spared. As Chapel and his team were send by the US government to eliminate Black, the latter taunts them along the way, completely indifferent to them slaughtering his own soldiers. When they arrived at his hideout, Black raised his undead zombies, created from his experiments, and orders them to attack Chapel's team, resulting in nearly all of them being brutally killed.
- Critical Research Failure: At one point, Shaft compares the situation to "the biblical equivelant of Armageddon." The biblical equivelant of Armageddon is Armageddon, the word originates in the bible.
- Ensemble Dark Horse:
- Badrock is easily the most popular member of the team - and the only one to be in every single version of it.
- In-universe, Troll was established as one to set up a bit of conflict between him and the equally in-universe popular Badrock. Out of universe, not so much.
- Fridge Brilliance: It's possible that Liefeld didn't just choose the name "Youngblood" because it sounded cool. After all, he had gained a lot of popularity with his X-Force work, and since "Youngblood" begins with a Y and "X-Force" begins with an X, anyone looking for his X-Force issues would be likely to see his new comic right beside them on the shelves of the comic book stores. This might also be the reason why Todd McFarlane, who'd previously worked on Spider-Man, named his new hero "Spawn."
- Hilarious in Hindsight: Youngblood began as Liefeld's idea for Roy Harper leading a team of Titans working for the government. Two years after the first Youngblood issue, Roy Harper was leading the Titans for the government.
- Memetic Mutation: Rob Liefeld's Shaft! 7" tall, fully poseable! Explanation
- The scene where Diehard seemingly hits someone with his crotch.
- Misaimed Marketing: In the 90's, there were plans for Fox Kids to do a Saturday Morning Cartoon adaptation. The franchise's entire claim to fame was that it was part of the trend of Darker and Edgier, Hotter and Sexier comics starring teams of violent Nineties Anti Heroes, which makes you wonder why someone would look at that and think "This would be GREAT as a kid's show!" (at least until you remember that violent films like the Rambo series and Robocop had animated adaptions aimed at kids)
- Moment of Awesome: In the relaunch, the team is fighting a giant robot. The battle abruptly ends when Badrock jumps out of a plane on top of it.
- Narm: "Badrock" isn't as cool a name if you're from Sweden, since it's Swedish for "bathrobe."
- It's not much better in English as it brings to mind The Flintstones more than anything. Since Badrock's original name and battle cry was Bedrock and "Yabba-Dabba-DOOM!" respectively, this is clearly intentional, both in-universe and out.
- Surprisingly Improved Sequel: Pretty much any of the relaunchs, due to the original 1992 Youngblood series being so infamous. Notably, the first issue of the 2017 relaunch has received overall positive reviews from critics and readers, many of whom admit they had low expectations for the series simply due to it being Youngblood.
- They Copied It, So It Sucks!: Like many of Rob Liefeld's works this series was clearly "influenced by" similar Marvel and DC properties. This—among other things—gave Liefeld haters just that much more ammunition. Youngblood is the remnant of a Teen Titans spin-off Liefeld had created. The character of Shaft is clearly a Captain Ersatz of Green Arrow's sidekick Speedy. It doesn't take much that Cougar is essentially a repaint of Wolverine or that Sentinel is either Iron Man or War Machine without the helmet.
- Also, we have Diehard, a character who throws a red, white, and blue circular shield that rebounds off of enemies and returns to him, and was the result of Project: Born Again. Original character, do not steal! We also get cyborg enemies who are known for saying "Resistance is futile; you will be assimilated," which is of course nothing like the Borg, and a planet called D'Khay ruled by the godlike villain Darkthornn, accessed through teleportation devices known as "crash tunnels."note Also, Cougar (and Wildmane) are not where the Wolverine ripoffery ends (or Warwolf being a blatant ripoff of Sabertooth); this series actually has several. And speaking of Star Trek, the oh-so-imaginatively-named Combat is from a race of Proud Warrior Race Guys whose ships look exactly like Klingon ships. (Interestingly, they don't look much like Klingons, or like each other. One does look perfectly identical to Nova (Frankie Raye) from Marvel, though. The pointy bits on the mask/face are just extended until it looks ridiculous.) Liefeld must've really felt like giving his lawyers a workout!
YMMV / Youngblood